Today Magazine • April 2020

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Focusing On What Matters


The FOCUS Center for Autism has served hundreds of children, young adults and their families since it was established in Canton 20 years ago. BUSINESS BEAT

7 — Storyteller’s Cottage: ‘It’s Magic’

A self-proclaimed book nerd has crafted a place where literary enthusiasts can find a home. HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS

8 — Let’s Talk Archaeology

STAYING FOCUSED is typically considered a helpful life skill. When this skill is applied to focusing on what truly matters, all the better. People matter — children, parents, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, those with diagnosed disorders and those considered normal. While not everyone is diagnosed with a clinical disorder, even a cursory glance at society and human history reveals that all people have strengths and weaknesses, gifts and flaws, skills and idiosyncrasies. We are all, in a word, human. A clinical diagnosis can make a world of difference, yet I believe that the characteristics we share as human beings are more significant than the distinction between those identified with disorders and those whose dysfunctions, on the surface, are less pronounced. The FOCUS Center for Autism is celebrating 20 years of helping youth with autism spectrum disorder. I’m glad to focus on their vital work with a cover story. Bruce Deckert — Publisher + Editor-in-Chief 860-988-1910 • Today Magazine — > Digital Edition Covering the Tri-Town Heart of the Farmington Valley Facebook — @TodayPublishingCT • LinkedIn—Today Publishing Advertising — Contact the Publisher Editorial Associate — Kayla Tyson • Contributor — Terri Wilson Cover Photo — Connecticut Headshots • caption info: page 4 Today Magazine Online —

A history-making dig has put Avon on the excavation map ... not just nationally, but internationally. SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS

13 — Behind The Creative Curtain

Come join the fun and marvel at the creative process during Simsbury Open Studios weekend. CALENDAR

15 — Event Intel Galore

From the arts to zany and brilliant library lineups, we’ve got the info you need about cool local events.


Photographer — Seshu, Connecticut Headshots • 860-593-0850 • Contributing Photographer — Wendy Rosenberg • 860-305-1655


COVER STORY KUDOS Thanks for the March cover story on A Promise to Jordan and the opioid crisis. Astounding work. I can’t thank you enough. Lisa Gray • Simsbury President • A Promise to Jordan Executive Director • Simsbury Chamber of Commerce The March issue of Today, featuring the founder of A Promise to Jordan, was wonderful! Congrats. Andrea Obston • Avon President • Andrea Obston Marketing Communications We’re getting some great feedback on the Men on a Mission story (February cover) and some interest in supporting the campaign, so thank you for the exposure. I really appreciate it. If any of your readers would like to visit a Club for a tour, please contact me at Matthew Broderick • Simsbury Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford


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MORE STORY THANKS Thanks for the February issue — loved the story about Avon’s Civil War soldier, Leverett Holden. Bill Samol • Avon Thank you for the piece “CHS senior signs with D-I rifle team” (March issue). The article was a refreshing breath of fresh air. I enjoyed reading that Kayley Pasko, like so many other law-abiding firearm enthusiasts, talks about gun safety first and foremost. I also learned that there is a Metacon Junior Program available. Thanks for publishing this positive firearms-related article. Pete Wyckoff • Avon We got so much positive feedback from the article by Alyssa (February issue) — thank you. Dave Richman • Simsbury • TODAY MAGAZINE – – APRIL 2020



Photos by Connecticut Headshots • 860-593-0850 •

Alex Feliciano, Fresh Start School graduate • FOCUS executive director Donna Swanson • McKenzie Mareno, Fresh Start School student

FOCUS Center for Autism celebrates 20th anniversary By Bruce Deckert Today Magazine Editor-in-Chief

FOR TWENTY YEARS, a local nonprofit agency has aimed to bring clarity and hope to autistic youth and their families. The FOCUS Center for Autism has served hundreds of children and young adults since its founding in 2000 by executive director Donna Swanson and associate director Fred Evans. FOCUS is the home of The Fresh Start School, for students 10-21 years old, and related programs — including clinical autism services, a mentorship program and a summer social skills immersion. Based in Canton, FOCUS is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020 with the ongoing goal of offering the community 20/20 vision vis-à-vis autism spectrum disorder and similar disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, autism spectrum disorder affects communication and behavior. People with the disorder have difficulty communicating and interacting 4


COVER STORY + NOTEWORTHY NONPROFITS with other people, restricted interests and repetitive behaviors, and symptoms that impair the ability to function effectively at school and work. Autism is known as a “spectrum disorder” because “there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience,” per the institute’s website. Swanson offers a more concise — and focused — definition of the disorder. “Our simple definition of autism spectrum disorder is ‘creatively wired and socially challenged’ because no two people on the spectrum are alike,” she says. “It is truly a spectrum, and the range of impacts and supports needed are quite variable depending upon where you fall on the spectrum — and this is what makes it so hard for professionals to assess and treat.” A dozen years before the FOCUS Center for Autism was established, the film Rain Man introduced a generation of

movie-goers to autistic savant syndrome. Rain Man won Oscars for 1988’s Best Picture and Best Actor (Dustin Hoffman). Hollywood insiders say this was the first film to portray a lead character with autism or savant syndrome. Reports indicate that about 10% of autistic persons exhibit savant abilities, such as photographic memory, amazing musical skill and remarkable numeric calculation. “Rain Man … helped people think about autism in a different way and also helped get the conversation about autism started,” Swanson says. “The movie depicts one small aspect of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.” The FOCUS Center for Autism is a member of the Avon Chamber of Commerce — and the Chamber has chosen FOCUS as its 2020 Business of the Year. Oh, and by the way, April is National Autism Awareness Month. Associate director Fred Evans answered this wide-ranging Q&A on behalf of FOCUS: What is your nonprofit’s mission? Helping children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder achieve their full potential.

FOCUS Center for Autism Year Established — 2000 (860) 693-8809 126 Dowd Avenue • Canton Most fulfilling aspect of your work? Providing 20 years of services to the Connecticut autism community. This community is often misunderstood, overlooked and underfunded. Providing services to this unique population remains fulfilling. Biggest obstacle you face, and how you overcome it: There is an enormous lack of funding required to provide quality services for adults with autism over the age of 21, due to aging out of the system. To overcome this obstacle, we must increase awareness of this issue through community outreach and receive financial support. Most satisfying accomplishment? Over the last 20 years, FOCUS has faced countless obstacles. Despite all challenges,

we continue to operate and provide quality services that have positively impacted over 1,000 children and families. Many of these individuals stay in contact throughout the years and consider FOCUS a support. Goals for the next 1-5 years? FOCUS plans to strengthen and enhance The Fresh Start School, seek new funding for supportive housing, develop our support service program that includes social opportunities for young adults and support services for caregivers. Volunteer opportunities: We offer the Friends of FOCUS, a group of community members, parents and alumni who help the FOCUS community as needed. Graduate interns from surrounding Connecticut universities — studying in the related fields of social work, psychology and nursing — intern with FOCUS. FOCUS also collaborates with Avon High School’s internship program, allowing students to explore possible careers in the field. Anecdote that provides a window into your ethos: TJ White was one of the first clients of FOCUS 18 years ago. He recently found

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our executive director on social media and reached out with a request to stop by The Fresh Start School with his big rig. TJ became a professional truck driver and wanted to inspire students with his story of how he overcame obstacles to achieve his dreams. The Fresh Start students asked TJ many questions, toured his enormous truck, and listened and cheered at TJ’s story of overcoming adversity. TJ’s success and connection to FOCUS after nearly two decades is testament to the positive impact FOCUS has on the lives of those who walk through our doors. Besides donations, how is your nonprofit funded?

and what constructive change would you like to see locally? FOCUS is grateful for the generosity of local community members and businesses that help us to continue to provide services. We would like to see more affordable housing options in the area. Do you work closely with town agencies or other nonprofits? FOCUS is a member of the Avon Chamber of Commerce and Canton Chamber of Commerce, and has staff who belong to the Avon-Canton Rotary. We work closely with the nonprofit LACASA (Litchfield County Autism Spectrum Association). Nonprofit Officers — 3

Board Members — 8 Our residential programs are funded by Number of Employees — 60 state contracts. The Fresh Start School and Additional comment: autism services are tuition-based and feeFOCUS executive director Donna Swanson If you would like to donate to FOCUS for-service. Center for Autism to support our mission, Interesting stats and numbers: checks can be made payable to: “Our simple definition of autism To date, we have served over 1,000 FOCUS Center for Autism children and families impacted by autism spectrum disorder is creatively P.O. Box 452 and related disorders from over 70 towns 126 Dowd Ave., Canton, CT 06019 + wired and socially challenged.” throughout Connecticut. What do you appreciate most about — Donna Swanson Instagram + Facebook — @FOCUSautism the Avon-Canton-Simsbury area,

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Storyteller’s Cottage sparks imagination The Storyteller’s Cottage 750 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury (860) 877-6099 Year Established — 2017 Bodytalk•(860) 678-7855 Owner and founder Lisa Natcharian answered this storybook Q&A 51 East Main Street, Avon, CT on behalf of Storyteller’s Cottage: Number of employees — 10 Company slogan — Bringing Literature to Life Why did you choose this profession? I’ve always been a book nerd. I know that readers have very vivid and imaginative inner lives, fueled by the stories they absorb, and I know that we all love the thrill of immersing ourselves in our favorite legends and adventures. I had a hunch that if I offered a landing place for the soaring imaginations of the Farmington Valley, we could form a fascinating and inspirational community. Most enjoyable aspect of your work? I love to see our guests “find their tribe” and have fun together. Your main obstacle, and how you can overcome it: Our small size limits the number of guests we can host at any one time, but we are always dreaming up new events to accommodate all our loyal followers. Most satisfying accomplishment? Catching the attention of the leading escape room reviewers in the country, and hearing them compliment our mystery room design. Goals for the next five years? To fill every room of the house with fun activities every day of the week. We often get requests to expand to other towns, so that’s in the back of our minds as well. What sets your business apart? There is no other business in the whole country that offers the “whole package” of literary-themed events and activities like we do. What do you appreciate most about the local business climate? Simsbury is full of small, locally run businesses that are all supportive of each other. From the minute we opened, other business owners reached out to us, as well as the local business organizations like Simsbury Main Street, the Chamber of Commerce and the small business department at the library, and PERSONALIZED CARE – everyone was tremendously friendly SHORT TERM REHABILITATION and helpful. OR LONG TERM CARE An anecdote that provides a window into your company’s ethos: Overheard from a guest: “It’s just a space for everybody. I really believe in this, it’s magic. I love seeing people open up because they find someone who loves what they love.” Your work experience: Beginning with a compassionate welcome, we work with residents, families, area hospitals and physicians to I’m a former teacher, journalist and achieve the highest levels of care possible. We create the best plan for wellness and recovery for people who can publisher with an M.S. in mass return home—and a warm, safe and comfortable home for long term residents. Family owned and operated, communication/public relations from our two affiliated locations provide the personalized care that makes all the difference. Boston University, an M.Ed. in educational Let us tell you more. psychology/gifted education from the University of Connecticut, and a B.A. in psychology from the College of William and Mary. Born and raised in Springfield, 652 West Avon Road, Avon, CT 06001 130 Loomis Drive, West Hartford, CT 06017 860-673-2521 860-521-8700 Mass., I live and play board games in Simsbury with my husband and three sons. Medicare 5 Star Rated Facilities We’ve lived in town since 2012. + TODAY MAGAZINE – – APRIL 2020



Archaeology talk wows big crowd Avon site is mother lode for Paleoindian research By Terri Wilson and Nancy Najarian Avon Historical Society + IAIS

AN AMAZING EVENT took place recently that has residents talking in the Farmington Valley and beyond! Over 350 people crowded the Avon Senior Center auditorium for the first public presentation on the discovery of Paleoindian artifacts found during construction of a new bridge in Avon. The presenter was Dr. David Leslie, senior archaeologist with Archaeological and Historical Services of Storrs, the firm contracted by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) to do the excavation and analysis. It all started in December 2018, when CTDOT began state projects 04-116 and 04-118 to construct a new Old Farms Road Bridge over the Farmington River and improve the connection where Old Farms

ROCKING HISTORY— Dr. David Leslie speaks at the Avon Senior Center. He says the Brian D Jones Paleoindian Site is significant not only nationally but also internationally. Courtesy P Edward Jones ranks highest in investor satisfaction with full service brokerage firms, according to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction StudySM

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AVON TODAY HIGHLIGHTS OF AVON HISTORY Road meets Waterville Road (Route 10). First, an archaeological survey was required on the western bank of the river. The survey uncovered a Paleoindian site 6 feet below ground, including 15,000-plus artifacts that were characteristic of the Early and Middle Paleoindian periods — about 12,500 years ago, or 10,500 B.C. Named the Brian D. Jones Paleoindian Site in honor of the late Connecticut archaeologist, it is the oldest archaeological dig in southern New England, based on radiocarbon dating. There is no comparative site in the region, according to Archaeological and Historical Services, which conducted the survey from January to April 2019 Test pits were dug and groundpenetrating radar was used to confirm the presence of the early Native American presence. Initially, 224 artifacts were discovered — which then blossomed to more than 15,000 artifacts and charcoal and plant remnants when full excavation was completed, along with evidence of wooden structures. Above the Paleoindian continued on page 14

This workout could lead to a cure for cancer Exercise class to raise funds for American Cancer Society Special to Today Magazine

IS IT POSSIBLE for a workout to result in a cure for cancer? In this case, the answer is yes. Two Avon businesses — THE MAX Challenge and Raymour & Flanigan — are sponsoring a joint benefit for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Here are the details: • Who: Host MAX Challenge and you! • What: Fundraiser Exercise Class • When: Saturday, April 4 — 9-10 a.m. • Where: Raymour & Flanigan 15 Waterville Rd., Avon • Why: To get fit and combat cancer Tickets — Adults $20, children 1-9 $5 with adult ticket — www.maxofavon All proceeds will go to the Relay for Life, which “is American Cancer Society’s signature fundraiser dedicated to helping communities attack cancer,” according to the organization’s website.

COMMUNITY INTEL “From team members to volunteers, we all want to remember those we’ve lost, help those affected today, and give us a home team advantage against cancer.” The Relay for Life slogan: “Bringing the fun to fundraising — Have fun. Raise funds. Fight cancer.” The energizing workout class will be led by a MAX Challenge instructor. Maureen DeMartino, owner of THE MAX Challenge of Avon, says she hopes this is “the type of fundraiser we can do on an ongoing basis.” Besides raising funds and awareness, event attendees will receive goodie bags, raffle prizes and giveaways. Afterward, Raymour & Flanigan will host its annual Easter Egg Hunt from 1011 a.m. and offer an intimate shopping experience with local business vendors from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. +

The Relay for Life is “dedicated to helping communities attack cancer.”

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Nature Center a natural for this naturalist Today Magazine Staff

THE YEAR THAT Margery Winters began volunteering at Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton, three classic movies connected with wildlife debuted: Groundhog Day, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey and Jurassic Park. A resident of West Simsbury, Winters is the assistant director at RBNC. She started volunteering for director Jay Kaplan in 1993 and joined the employee team as a part-time staff member/instructor in ’95. She became full-time in 2006. Winters, 66, was born in Ontario, Canada, and raised in the Canadian cities of Vancouver and Calgary. She moved to the U.S. her last year of high school and has lived in West Simsbury since moving from Chicago to Connecticut in 1986. Read on for Winters’ all-natural Q&A: How did you hear about RBNC? I heard of the Nature Center through other mothers who had sent their children to programs at the center. I started volunteering with Roaring Brook as a member of the Simsbury Junior Women’s Club, which used to help out with activities at the center’s annual Hobgoblin Fair.

Winters shares her nature fascination at RBNC What formative experiences instilled in you an appreciation for nature? All things in the natural world have fascinated me since I was a very young child — animals, plants, soil, rocks, weather and water. I studied physical geography and geology in undergraduate and graduate school to satisfy this curiosity and have been fortunate to work in a variety of environmental jobs since graduating. What do you enjoy most about your work at RBNC? What is most challenging, and how can you meet that challenge? I enjoy the opportunity to learn more about our local environment and to share my knowledge with others, especially those children who, like me, are fascinated by the natural world around them. The part of the work that I find most challenging is talking to members of the public who find the wildlife inconvenient, annoying or undesirable. The challenge is to find just the right bit of information to gently help them understand the importance and value of these creatures. Your favorite CT animal ... tree ... flower? I don’t really have a singular favorite – I like the connections and relationships in natural

COMMUNITY INTEL systems. But if I had to choose one, it would have to be skunk cabbage – our first flower of spring. This plant makes its own heat to melt the nearby snow, it looks and smells like dead meat to attract the only pollinators that are active in the early spring (flies and beetles), it can live to be 100 years, and when the leaves come on the trees and block the sunlight, it can pull itself down into the mud with contractile roots. What’s not to like about such a fascinating plant! Additional comment — It has been a great pleasure to work at the Nature Center and to help it grow over the years. I would have loved to have had a nature center near me when I was a child, and appreciate the special role that such centers have in helping young and old develop a love and understanding of the natural world. Nature centers allow hands-on nature learning that is not always available in school settings and are nurturing places for young naturalists to share their enthusiasms with other like-minded individuals of all ages. +

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A robin finds a multiple-worm feast in a Canton backyard. American robins eat high quantities of earthworms and fruit — and one study indicates that robins may multitask gastronomically by selectively eating bug-ridden fruit, according to the website.

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SLOCO blessed with manifold talent Troupe celebrates 75th with Pirates

A Short History of SLOCO: Part 2

Artistic Director Renée Haines and President Ralph Sherman

Part 1 appeared in the March issue. Digital editions of Today Magazine:

THE SIMSBURY Light Opera Company (SLOCO) — one of the oldest theater companies in the U.S. devoted to the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan — is celebrating its 75th season in 2020. SLOCO is proud of its connection with the Town of Simsbury, which was founded in 1670, and is joining in this year’s celebration of Simsbury’s 350th anniversary. Over the years, SLOCO has been blessed with talented directors, musicians, cast and crew from across the state and beyond. Martyn Green, famous for his lead roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas with London’s D’Oyly Carte Opera Company from 1922-51, directed SLOCO’s performances of The Pirates of Penzance in 1973 and Patience in 1974. This year marks the troupe’s ninth production of Pirates: • Saturday, March 28 — 2:00 + 7:30 p.m. • Saturday, April 4 — 7:30 p.m. • Sunday April 5 — 2:00 p.m. Tickets: – advance: save $5

Mark McNally has played lead SLOCO roles for the past 41 years. At press time, he is slated to play Major-General Stanley in this year’s Pirates show, and Linda Chamberlain — in her 50th year with SLOCO — is also a cast member. One of this year’s pirates, Bruce Merritt, joined the company in 1980. Rehearsal accompanist Elizabeth White has been with SLOCO for 60 years.

Family Company

SLOCO continues to welcome young talent. College students — mainly from The Hartt School, CCSU and UConn — are often involved in SLOCO productions, as are standout high school students. Younger students have joined the ranks as singers and dancers in some productions. Many families have been part of the organization, some through multiple generations, and several members even met and married through their association with the company. The director for the most productions so far? Ron Luchsinger, who produced 22 shows over 20 years. He also co-wrote Gilbert and Sullivan a la Carte with Thom Griffin for SLOCO’s 60th annual production.

SLOCO’s current artistic director, Renée Haines, appeared with SLOCO most recently in the principal role of Aline in The Sorcerer in 2016. She is president emeritus of the Connecticut Gilbert and Sullivan Society and has a long history of principal roles in its productions.

Directing Success

Haines is a Hartt graduate with a degree in opera performance (with honors). She received favorable reviews for her directing debut of Patience with SLOCO last year, and she is directing and choreographing Pirates this year. SLOCO music director Nathaniel Baker has been the music director of Choate Rosemary Hall School, West Hartford Community Theater and Seven Angels Theatre. Baker is a concert pianist and has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is also a Hartt graduate and has a master’s in piano performance from UConn. SLOCO President Ralph Sherman is a master of the patter song — a staple of comic opera — and at press time is slated to appear as Samuel in this year’s Pirates. He is the bandmaster of the First Company Governor’s Foot Guard band. +

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Artists invite public behind creative curtain Come celebrate 11th Annual Simsbury Open Studios weekend Special to Today Magazine

ELEVEN SIMSBURY ARTISTS will open their studios to the public on Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the 11th Annual Simsbury Open Studios. The event is free. Visitors will have the opportunity to see local artists working in their studios,


Painters Rita Bond, Lori Racicot-Burrous, Catherine M. Elliott, Deborah Leonard, Linda Madin, Linda Pearson, Julia Parker Post and Richard Schlicher Lampworker (glass beads) Karyn de Punte’-Sweezy Potter Grace Epstein Printmaker Renée S. Hughes


ask questions about the creative process, and purchase original art from these local artists. See the box on this page for a list of participating artists. Linda Pearson, a mixed media artist, is new to Open Studios. She uses colored pencil and alcohol washes to create her mixed media landscape and abstract paintings. She also enjoys working on woven collaborative mixed media paintings. A preview of the artists’ work will be on display during the month of April at the Simsbury Public Library at 725 Hopmeadow Street. For more info about the artists or to download a map of their studio locations, visit — maps will be available at Fitzgerald’s, Harvest Cafe, the Simsbury Public Library, Tulmeadow Farm and the artists’ studios. +

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JONES SITE — continued from page 9

temporary camps in an environment similar site was a possible Early Archaic era site to the tundra, taiga and boreal forests of dating to about 8,000-10,000 years ago. Northern Canada. With gradual warming, During the last Ice Age, half of the North the environment began to resemble presentAmerican continent was covered in an ice day woodlands. sheet up to 2 miles thick. About 22,000 Summer and winter camps were years ago the ice sheet extended to what is established to take advantage of woodland now Long Island Sound. As the ice melted, animals and plants as well as river and 374 Hitchcock Hopmeadowfilled Street • Simsbury, CT 06089 glacial lakes formed. Lake ocean seafood. People used local and 860-651-8236 the Connecticut River Valley and Lake out-of-state materials for daily activities— Farmington the Farmington River Valley. including stone (such as chert, quartz or Find out how you can get improved peace(such as copper), wood When dams for these lakes broke about jasper),value softand metals of mind. Call or visit our office today! 16,000 years ago, the water followed a (for weapons, canoes, houses), animals, course that became the Connecticut and plants and locally produced clay and Farmington Rivers. The climate was initially soapstone pottery. As the environment like Northern and populations changed, people began PreviewCanada Onlytoday but gradually warmed, becoming more temperate. to establish more permanent, year-round yout includes The a margin clear of text and graphics first people in Connecticut were villages and modern social groups. on may belikely covered by frame clips following herdand/or animals andduring had installation) Trained archaeologists use meticulous techniques when studying a site. Grids are set up and each unit is excavated level by level to extract artifacts and animal and plant remains. Evidence for structures is For improved value and peace sometimes found in of mind, call or visit our office today! the soil. All collected 860-651-8236 items are examined, identified and Christensen Insurance numbered to keep 374 Hopmeadow St., Weatogue, CT track of where each Noris Christensen item was found and 374 Hopmeadow Street • Simsbury, CT 06089 at what depth. 860-651-8236

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The parent material for the stone tools formed millions of years ago, but the organic remains from a site can be carbon-dated. The Brian D. Jones Site was dated to roughly 12,500 years ago and is thought to be the oldest Paleoindian site in the state, surpassing the Templeton Site in Washington in western Connecticut. The Jones Site is nearly three times as old as the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Objects from the site are catalogued and studied, and provide a picture of what life was like during this period of Connecticut’s history and how Native Americans established settlements in this state. The CTDOT is supporting specialized chemical, geological and archaeological analysis of the Jones Site, which will take several years to be ready for publication. Based on the overwhelming response by attendees at Leslie’s first presentation in mid-February, a series of talks in Avon is planned in the next year on archaeology, geology and early people groups. At press time, another presentation was slated for mid-March. To receive notice about these events, email your contact info to info@ + Editor’s Note — State archaeologist Brian D. Jones died of prostate cancer on July 4, 2019, at 55 years old. Terri Wilson is president of the Avon Historical Society. IAIS (Institute for American Indian Studies) is based in Washington, CT.

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Art At The Simsbury 1820 House Show thru 4/30 • 658-7658 Free • Featuring Florence Bourgoin Summer Farmers Market • Applications – due by 3/25 Mondays: July-August – 3-6 pm Avon Public Library Community Health Expo Anthology of Simsbury Saturday 3/28 –10 am-2 pm Host: Simsbury Chamber–651-7307 Simsbury Light Opera Company The Pirates of Penzance Eno Memorial Hall, Simsbury Sat 3/28–2 pm +7:30 • Sat 4/4–7:30 Sun 4/5 – 2 pm • $10-$30: Tastes of the Valley Rotary of Avon-Canton Farmington Gardens, Route 4 Saturday 3/28 – 6-10 pm $50-$75 • All proceeds to charity FV Stage Company, Collinsville • On Golden Pond Sat 3/28–8 pm • Sun 3/29–2 pm Fri-Sat 4/3,4/4 – 8 • Sun 4/5 – 2 • Funny Thing … on Way to Forum Sat 5/16–8 pm • Sun 5/17–2 pm Fri-Sat 5/22,5/23 – 8 • Sun 5/24 – 2 $19.50-$23.00 • Avon Historical Society 46th Annual Meeting Miller Foods, Avon Wednesday 4/1 – 6:30 pm Free • Public welcome + dessert Wood Sign Workshops Simsbury Board & Brush 860-392-8567 • Public Workshops – Fridays 6:30-9:30 pm – April 3, 10, 17, 24 • Mini Sign Class – Saturdays 1-3 pm – April 4, 25 • Public Workshops – Saturdays 6-9 pm – April 4, 11, 18, 25 • Public Workshops – Sundays 1-4 pm – April 5, 19, 26 • Public Workshop – Thursday 6:30-9:30 pm – April 9 Exercise Class Fundraiser for American Cancer Society Raymour & Flanigan, Avon Saturday 4/4 – 9 am Benefit: ACS Relay for Life • $5-$20 Hosted by MAX Challenge, Avon Spring Celebration Farmington Club • 677-7341 Saturday 4/4 – 10 am Egg hunts, crafts, food+ Simsbury Rocks! Rock Painting Eno Hall Craft Room, Simsbury Monday 4/6 – 4-5:30 pm • Free Adults 50+ • Host: For All Ages Reg: Canton League of Women Voters Fundraiser • Flatbread, Canton Tuesday 4/7 – starts 5 pm Order pizza • portion goes to LWV April Vacation Volleyball Camp Simsbury High School

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Monday-Thursday 4/13- 4/17 $60 • Register at Kids Camp: Horse Riding+ Farmington Polo Club • 677-7341 Tuesday-Friday 4/14-4/17 – 9 am Simsbury Garden Club Apple Barn, West Simsbury Monday 4/20 – 11:30 am Guests $10 • Art of Peonies Adirondack Chair Presentation Simsbury Library, Program Room Wednesday 4/22 – 2:45-3:30 pm Host: For All Ages Shrek The Musical Avon High School Friday-Saturday 4/24-4/25 – 7:30 Sunday 4/26 – 2 pm Dementia Education Series Anthology of Simsbury Saturday 4/25 – 10 am RSVP + info: 860-317-0303 5th NWCT Home Show 2020 NW Regional School 7, Winsted Saturday 4/25 – 10 am-4 pm Free adm.• games, $1000s in prizes, food, 60 exhibitors • funds charity+ Simsbury River Run Simsbury Meadows Arts Center Sunday 4/26 – 10 am $10-$40 • 5K, 10K, kids races + bands, food Make Their Lives Matter US Horse Welfare & Rescue, Avon Sunday 4/26 – 10 am-1 pm $5-$10, up to age 2 free Highlights rescue horses + autism Fireside Poem Hour Crown & Hammer, Collinsville Sunday 4/26– 7 pm Sign-up to read starts at 6:45 ‘First Friday’ Dinner Avon Congregational Church Friday 5/1 – 5:30-7 pm $7-$15 • Takeout available Some proceeds to charity Simsbury Artists – 11th Annual Simsbury Open Studios Weekend Various locations – Simsbury Saturday-Sunday 5/2-5/3 – 10-4 Kentucky Derby Party Farmington Polo Club • 677-7341 Saturday 5/2 – 4 pm Big-screen TV, dinner, live music Nutmeg Symphony Orchestra Lewis Mills High School, Burlington Saturday 5/9 – 7:30 pm 50th Reunion: Simsbury High ’70 Hopmeadow Country Club, Simsbury • Saturday 5/16 – 6 pm Weekend events May 14-17 • Info: Doug at 40th Anniversary MOPAR Expo Farmington Polo Club • 677-7341 Saturday-Sunday 5/16-5/17 Simsbury Garden Club Apple Barn, West Simsbury Monday 5/18 – 11:30 am Guests $10 • Night Insects Sing Simsbury Rocks! Scavenger Hunt Throughout Simsbury Friday 5/22 – 1 pm+ Host: For All Ages Gifts of Love Charity Golf Tourn. Golf Club of Avon Tuesday 6/2 – 8:30 am-6 pm Seeking sponsors+ • 676-2323 Birdies & Horsepower Fundraiser Farmington Polo Club • 677-7341 Thursday 5/28

JOYful Happenings Journey of Yoga, Simsbury 860-680-1482 • Call ahead to confirm Shake Your Soul with Qi Gong Thursday 4/16 – 7-8:30 pm Partner Yoga with Thai Touch Friday 4/17 – 6-7:30 pm Yoga for Healthy Bones Wednesdays – 5-6 pm Morning Flow Yoga Fridays – 6:30-7:30 am $7 Seva Saturday Yoga Alternate Saturdays –10:30 am +++ Canton Land Trust events Nesting Bird + New Growth Hike 200 Breezy Hill Rd, Canton Sunday 5/3 -– 7 am Dir. Jay Kaplan • bring binoculars Family-Friendly Vernal Pool Hike End of Westwood Dr, Canton Saturday 5/9 – 10 am Botanical Hike 144 Indian Hill Rd, Canton Sunday 5/17 – 10 am Pollinator Planting Hike, Explore Historic Gristmill Behind 172 Cherry Brook Rd, Canton • Sunday 6/7 – 1:30-3 pm +++ Avon Public Library lineup These events free • 673-9712 Movie: A Star is Born Tuesday 3/31 – 1:30 pm Movie: Titanic Wednesday 4/8 – 12 noon Situational Awareness Thursday 4/9 – 6:30 pm Titanic: A Date with Destiny Wednesday 4/15 – 2 pm Outstanding Film Series • If Beale Street Could Talk Thursday 4/16 – 6:30 pm • Divided We Fall Thursday 5/14 – 6:30 pm • Honeyland Thursday 6/11 – 6:30 pm Witches in Connecticut Monday 4/20 – 2 pm Tale of colonial hangings still haunts River Cruises with Lisa Philips Wednesday 4/22 – 2 pm Discover European river cruising Wednesday Morning Book Club 1x per month• Info: 673-9712 +++ Canton Public Library lineup These events free • 693-5800 John Hsu — Fisherman

April Art Display: John Hsu Images in Water Thru 4/30 National Poetry Month: Interactive Haiku Project Thru 4/30 Write, share haiku poetry Passport to Libraries Program Thru 4/30 Libraries statewide • free packets Crossword Puzzle Tournament Saturday 4/25 – 1-4 pm Registration required by 4/22

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Simsbury Public Library lineup Most events free • 658-7663 x2 Teen Photo Challenge Thru April 25 Age 12-19 • Bring 8x10 to library Craft Swap Saturday 4/4 – 10 am Simsbury Camera Club Monday 4/6 – 6:30 pm Votes for Women Tuesday 4/7 – 1 pm Debt: Money Smart Week Tuesday 4/7 – 6:30 pm History of Earth Day Monday 4/13 – 1:30 pm Russia: Adversary or Partner? Tuesday 4/14 – 6:30 pm World Religions Course Thursdays 4/16, 4/21, 4/30 – 6:30 FSPL Coffeehouse: Paul Bisaccia Friday 4/17 – 7:30 pm Holocaust Remembrance: Theodore Bikel’s City of Light Monday 4/20 – 6:30 pm With author Aimee Ginsburg Bikel Film: Lost Forests of N.E. Wednesday 4/22 – 6 pm iOS13 Productivity Software Thursday 4/23 – 6 pm Garden Tool Time w/Kevin Wilcox Tuesday 4/28 – 7 pm Host: Gardeners of Simsbury Silent Book Club Thursday 4/30 – 6:30 pm Friday Flicks Fridays – 1 pm +++ Storyteller’s Cottage events Simsbury • 860-877-6099 ‘Murder She Wrote’ Mystery Wednesday 4/1 – 1 pm $20 • Mystery room game + tea ‘Les Deux Magots’ Literary Cafe Saturday 4/4 – 3:30 pm Free • Tea, talk w/ literary folk Fantasy Gaming Club Sunday 4/5 – 2 pm • 4/19 – 2:30 $20 • Dungeons & Dragons for kids ‘The Crown’ Royal Afternoon Tea Saturday 4/11 – 2 pm $20 • Elegant day of tea-cake-crafts Live Clue Game for Teens Saturday 4/11 – 7 pm $30 • Solve mystery a la board game Bard’s Bistro for Songwriters Saturday 4/18 – 3:30 pm Free • Bring your songs,instruments Murder in the Library Saturday 4/19 – 3:30 pm $5 • Meet author,solve mini-mystery Fictional Feast: Book&Food Club Saturday 4/25 – 2 pm $10 • Foods from classic literature William Saroyan Night: Armenian Brandy Tasting Saturday 4/25 – 8 pm $35 • 21+ • Music, poetry, brandy+ Benefit for Armenia Tree Project Author Talk with Pat Kelbaugh Sunday 4/26 – 2 pm $5 • “Dreamtime” book series




Canton photographer Wendy Rosenberg captured this robin, a harbinger of spring, in her backyard.

Photo by Wendy Rosenberg

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